How shelter communications can turn a parvo outbreak from crisis to positive outcome

Does an outbreak of parvovirus need to be a crisis in your shelter? No, said Dr. Lesli Groshong, Chief Shelter Veterinarian for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, at the 2012 Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Conference at University of Florida.

As a shelter that accepts large transfers of puppies from high risk shelters, the organization considers each group of puppies to be at risk of parvovirus infection. Dr. Groshong’s communications strategy presents shelter personnel, clinic personnel, and adopters with a vision of a positive, healthy outcome for the parvovirus patient.

In her presentation, she covered:

  • How parvovirus treatment templates simplify the process of treating parvo, from staff identification of parvo-infected puppies to initiation of treatment, to transition of animals after recovery into the adoption center
  • How integrating husbandry procedures, medical treatment protocols, and medical disclosures at adoption creates a smooth system within a shelter after parvovirus is identified
  • Shifting the veterinarian’s role from “putting out fires” to mitigating disease and focusing on a healthy shelter population
  • Achieving positive post-adoption outcomes when a puppy breaks with parvovirus in the adopter’s home

You can view Dr. Groshong’s presentation below.